Sailing | Coed and women’s sailing teams continue strong performances
Hutchings competes in NEISA Championship, women finish second
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 07:09
Coming off last weekend’s regattas, the coed and women’s sailing teams were looking to build off strong performances and to continue the momentum toward championship races at the end of the season. The Jumbos capped off their weekend with some highlight finishes, including placing first for the first time in three years at their own Hood Trophy Intersectional Regatta.
“We generally do well [at the Hood Trophy]. We have a natural advantage sailing at home in our own boats,” senior tri−captain William Hutchings said. “We get to show superior boat handling and boat mechanics.”
The day began with the team’s A−division, manned by junior tri−captain and skipper William Haeger along with junior crew Paula Grasberger. Together, they racked up 50 points, including victories in their third and ninth races, to claim second place in the A−division — just 10 points behind Yale.
However, it was the Jumbos’ young B−division that particularly shone at home. Sophomore skipper Alec Ruiz−Ramon and sophomore crew Sam Madden won three of their first four races for their division, before passing the boat off to junior skipper David Liebenberg and freshman crew Caroline Atwood, who clinched the critical final race at the same time as the Mystic Lake’s wind shifts completely derailed Yale. The B−division cleaned up with just 32 points, clinching both their division and the Hood Trophy for the home team.
“This event is a big confidence boost when we’re all able to do well,” Hutchings said.
The weekend also proved fruitful for the coed team’s tri−captain, as he also participated individually in the NEISA Men’s Singlehanded Championship held at Boston College. In the Laser−style regatta, Hutchings came one spot short of qualifying for the National Single−Handed Sailing Championship, which will be hosted in Long Beach, Calif. in November.
“Between races seven and eight of 12, I was in the qualifying spot, but then I started performing badly, racked up a couple of diggers,” Hutchings said. “It was tough for me, but I took a lot out of the event.”
Unlike standard dinghy races, wherein two athletes are to a boat and are allowed to take turns racing with breaks between races due to the two−division system, Hutchings spent the entire day out on the water, racing race after race.
“If you get in a slump [in Laser], it’s hard to get out,” Hutchings said. “In retrospect, I learned it was a competitive event, and a lot of lessons I learned can be applied to races down the road.”
Hutchings finished with 147 points across 18 races, including high finishes in his last two, but it wasn’t enough to catch up to fourth−place sophomore Lucas Adams from Brown, who snatched the last qualifying spot with 124 points.
Meanwhile, the women’s sailing team rounded out the weekend with a runner−up finish at Boston University’s Regis Bowl, which saw the team compete against squads like Yale, Dartmouth and Harvard.
Senior captain Natalie Salk skippered once again with senior crew Amelia Quinn, who is also a Features editor for The Tufts Daily, in the A−division. Salk and Quinn totaled 53 points across 12 races, including victories or runner−up finishes in five of their first six races.
Senior skipper Mariel Marchand and junior crew Sara Makaretz returned to the B−division once again with fair results as well, gaining a victory or runner−up finish in their first six races.
“Conditions were shifty and puffy, but it was a really good weekend, getting second,” Marchand said.
Marchand and Makaretz’s 33 points total were good for second in their division, behind only Roger Williams University’s 24 points, and the Jumbos’ total of 86 points was good for second place overall at the event — a fine finish for a team that seems to be getting better and better as the season continues to wear on.
“It was really good practice and it was good to do well and gain confidence and experience,” Marchand said. “Something has really clicked for [Sara and me]. Hopefully we can go far.”
The coed and women’s sailing teams return to work this weekend, with the co−ed team attending the Coast Guard’s Danmark Trophy, and members of the women’s team attending their own New England Single−handed Championships.